For years our parents and the media programmed us: “milk does a body good”. We’ve also been told how important protein, (lots of it) is important for a healthy body. Recent medical research actually reveals the opposite.
Excess animal based proteins have bone weakening effects
When we consume animal based foods, including milk, we create an acidic environment in our bodies — called metabolic acidosis. The body then draws on the best alkaline material it can find, which happens to be the calcium in our bones, to neutralize the acid that is being produced in our blood. Subsequently, we weaken our bones! This suggests that a high animal-protein-diet is associated with higher rates of osteoporosis, which HAS been proven in medical studies and research.
Casein (milk protein) and cancer
In the most comprehensive study to date on the relationship between diet and human health–The China Project– Dr. T. Colin Campbell found that casein, a protein found only in milk from mammals, is “the most significant carcinogen we consume.” “What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer? Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process. ” — Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study
Cows, drugs, and cruelty
Commercial confined female cows are given artificial fertility hormones to produce milk (rBGH) as well as antibiotics due to the filthy conditions of factory farms. So when you drink commercially produced milk, you drink the drugs and hormones they are injected with. An average commercial dairy cow in result produces up to 10 times the milk when treated. Since the dairy cow is pregnant, when she gives birth, her calf is taken from her either immediately or after the first feeding, which is an excruciating experience for the mother (they have been known to cry endlessly for days or even break free to find their young) Often the calf is put in a veal crate, a small, dark wooden box typically only 2 square feet. The baby cannot stand or move, is forcefed excess liquid milk substitute purposely void in nutrients to make their meat tender.
There are so many tasty, highly sustainable and animal-kind milks readily available – it really is very easy… Just Say NO to animal milk!
Almond Milk: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and also helps in proper cholesterol balance. If cholesterol is not at a healthy level, the body will not recover post exertion as efficiently as it should. Vitamin E is also a big part of growth hormone production. Vitamin E is abundant in almond milk with 50% of your RDA.
Soy Milk: Plant based protein is higher in soy milk than other milks, 6g versus 1g per 1 cup serving. However, there are raised medical concerns with excessive soy consumption and women who are breast feeding, in menopause or those who have thyroid conditions due to its estrogen content. So, remember: everything in moderation.
Coconut Milk: Healthy MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids) have been studied to potentially have antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal effects on the body. Studies have also shown that MCFA’s are faster metabolized by the liver than animal based fatty acids, resulting in potentially lower body fat and a slightly higher metabolism after consumption.
Flax Seed Milk: An omega-3 boost from flax milk provides over 1000mg of Omega-3s per serving and is increasing it popularity. Omega 3’s help to reduce your risk of heart disease, help support healthy brain function.
There are of course other milks found in healthy food stores: oat, rice, hazelnut, and hemp. Read labels carefully, as many milks have added sweeteners and thickeners such as carrageenan, which has been studied to cause cancer in rats. Check the sugar and calories, and of course choosing organic is always a good idea. All milks are typically fortified with calcium and vitamin D. If calcium intake is more your concern (than a love for milk), leafy greens and broccoli contain more readily absorbed calcium, and exposure to natural sunlight is always your best source of Vitamin D to assist in calcium absorption. If protein is still on your mind, here is one more fact for you: Human breast milk, the best food for developing babies, is only 5% protein!